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     Volume 8 Issue 88 | October 2, 2009 |

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Writing the Wrong

Barack Obama

Existential Threats
Part Deux

Sharbari Ahmed

It's that time of year here in the United States. The air is crisp; the trees are turning various shades of gold, red and burnt umber. Hormonally enhanced pumpkins are being set out for display and sale in front of markets across the country and my son has come up with yet another inappropriate Halloween costume that involves guns, dark hoods and a Russian gas mask. The character he wants to be is called “Stalker”. It's from a video game. Sigh. Pious Muslims all over the world are wondering, how the hell did I gain weight after fasting for one month? Somewhere someone is wondering where all the promise of that summer fling went. It's also the time of year where the US overtly starts fixing to bomb something. IS there something about the month of September that makes this fair land bloodthirsty? No, wait, we are always bloodthirsty.

To be honest things have been a bit chaotic lately, what with Quaddafi attempting to pitch a Bedouin tent in New Jersey and Ahmadinejad ticking everyone off at the UN Security Council meeting by being incendiary and, oh, effectively squelching democracy by force in his country. Does that guy own a suit in any other colour?

Please don't be fooled by my glib tone. I am actually quite disturbed. I am not ready to bomb Iran and that is what we appear to be readying ourselves for. How does one dress for these things? Casual, or business casual, as this appears to be business oriented? America is very professional in the way it kills innocent civilians.


The very busy FBI has foiled two more terror plots in the last forty-eight hours. One fellow, a Jordanian national, helpfully informed them of what his intentions were in an online chat room. I think that was very polite of him. The other fellow who counts among his role models John Walker Lindh, the WASP Taliban guy (who I am convinced though that he was signing up for a travelling theatre group that took the Meisner technique of acting too seriously) was caught in the nick of time. Okay, fasten seat belts, please, this is what I am thinking: these particular threats are about as legitimate as Madonna's adoption of that little African boy. It's the GOP trying to undermine Barack, of course. The supposed terror suspect detailing his intentions online is familiar. Kind of like when officials found a flight manual and a Koran in the back of a 9/11 hijackers rental car. These Muslim terrorists are nothing if not helpful. I know they are legitimate terror threats in this country. I have a feeling Taylor Swift considers Kanye West to be a threat of some kind after the fiasco at the MTV awards. The US is more liked than before but still far from being voted Prom Queen by the world and the GOP is banking on that. They are committed to dethroning Obama as the recent health care debacle indicates, though I am not prepared to talk about that. Believe it or not I actually research what I write. Yes, even articles on hair flippers.

I was outraged for Obama and then, at G8 Summit, he, along with Brown and Sarkozy (who is shorter than I thought, but then again, short, French men, huge egos, with a disdain for other cultures, not quite a novel concept) voices his concern over allegations that Iran is secretly building a nuclear power plant. His demeanour is less indignant than Brown's but is he setting the stage for justifying a strike on Iran in the next six months? I am still happy he is my president, but the honeymoon is decidedly over and his glow might not stay that radiant under close scrutiny. (I just read this back. Joan Didion I am not.) Anyway, I want to trust him now more than ever. Last week he addressed the children of America on education and how to lead their lives and I, a grown-up still struggling with the concept of maturity, was inspired by it. But I am dismayed by his unilateral disapproval of Iran's supposedly war-like actions. It is the height of hypocrisy. We all know that the only people allowed to have nuclear weapons is the US and their chamcha (towel boy), Israel. Or are we the chamchas? I forget. At any rate, no one else is allowed to play with the legos. No one else is even allowed in the playroom to defend themselves against Israel or the US. The rest of the world is supposed to sit there, quivering masses of fear, while these two bullies brandish their toys and once in awhile launch offensives in mortally impoverished areas like the Gaza strip and burn toddlers in their beds. I guess Iran and Lebanon did not get the Quiver and Cower memo. Incidentally, that was the first name for the military offensive launched in Iraq but Shock and Awe won by a hair.

I do not trust Ahmadinejad. I would not trust him even if he went into Brooks Brothers and got a new suit. The point is, it is simply unfair to demand that some countries not arm themselves while others get billions of dollars a year in aid to do just that. The ideal of course is that no one arms himself or herself, that no one possesses nuclear weapons and everyone plays nicely and shares the legos (the ones that stack and do not maim or peel the skin from a baby's body).

We must keep a close watch over the next few months and be prepared for various orange high alerts and dull terror suspects who obligingly post their diabolical agendas on their Facebook status. Abdul Joe Islam: is all wound up. Planning on terrorizing Latvian tourists at the Lincoln Memorial tomorrow and can't get a lick of sleep.

It's a smoke screen my friends and we must not allow it to obscure us from our responsibilities as members of the human race to prevent the needless deaths of more children. So please President Obama, before you strike, take a minute and contemplate this: our collective Karma can't really handle another hit and the intense betrayal the Muslim world will experience because of your actions will actually surpass any rancour they felt towards Bush Junior and Dick because you will have done the unforgivable. You will have made them believe in you, trust you, even love you, and then you let them down. Orange high alert? The US might need a whole new colour to indicate a whole new level of threat-- that of an already tenuous ally betrayed. As Michael Jackson said: it's human nature.




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